Sublime: a. Of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth. b. Not to be excelled; supreme. 3. Inspiring awe; impressive. This definition ties to beauty in various ways. What is beautiful? Does that always mean it’s the best? Or can beauty be taken in the eye of the beholder?
Wiliam Giplin’s essay titled On Picturesque Beauty outlines the fact that there is no definition of beautiful. He states “disputes about beauty might perhaps be involved in less confusion, if a distinction were established, which certainly exists, between such objects as are beautiful.” Beauty is definitely inspired by someone’s outtake on the object. Giplin also states in his essay “ideas of beauty vary with the object, and with the eye of the spectator.” This is an example of why perfection does not exist, except through one’s personal opinion. It ties together with the theme that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Picturesque, however; does in fact exist. Giplin explains that “in examining the real object, we shall find, one source of beauty arises from that species of elegance, which we call smoothness, or neatness; for the terms are nearly synonymous.” It is natural that human beings associate something as “perfect” when it appears to be flawless, sometimes even unreal. This supports the definition of picturesque: in the manner of a picture; fit to be made into a picture.
The photograph is of a view that is seen every day throughout Pullman, the United States, and the entire world. It is simple in its own element, yet captured as picturesque, possible even beautiful, depending on the judge. It is a reminder that every day society is in its daily routines and motions, and people often forget to enjoy the scenes around them. Something people need to realize is there is more to beauty than skinny models, actors, or unnatural scenery. Whether someone finds their version of beauty in sunsets, flowers, or any other variety of natural nature, it is too often looked passed in the busy lives lived by society around us.
As explained earlier by Giplin’s essays, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The second and third image I captured in Pullman, WA is an example of something not normally perceived as beautiful. While on a day-to-day basis, passing the plant in the image may not be perceived as beautiful, often even perceived as annoying, beauty can be found in it.
In Eddie Soloway’s essay on how to take exceptional pictures, he states that one should change their perspective. While brainstorming about this essay and what to write and photograph, I came across a great quote. “When you see a field of dandelions, you can either see one-thousand weeds or one-thousand wishes.” The author is unknown.
This quote really stuck out to me personally and began my new perception of beauty. Beauty is not necessarily something picture-perfect, as picturesque is. Beauty is the imperfect. Beauty is the little flaws in life that make it interesting. This reminded me of another saying I knew I had heard before. Marilyn Monroe once said ““Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” While Marilyn is something less than a philosopher, I really related to this saying in a new way after the readings done in this class. It is a way to observe life. One can go through their life pointing out the “ugly”, when in fact they could be enjoying the beautiful in daily sights they look past in their busy lives.
Another conclusion I came to when focusing on this assignment was that too often people fail to see the beauty within them. Science is the basis for our lives. We get DNA from our parents that form together to make a new being. This DNA, or genes, gives us our makeup. From head to toes is made up of genes inherited by our ancestors. As we know, many different shapes, sizes, colors, and builds are around in the world. Society makes beauty out to be one specific look, when in fact everyone has beauty in them. Humanity needs to quit looking at the imperfections in each other and themselves as ugly or flaws. Once this conclusion has been made, everyone’s lives would be much easier enjoyed.
The song Dream Big, written and performed by Ryan Shupe, has a great outlook on both of these themes. In one line of the song he sings “…and when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself and it’ll help you feel okay.” If people would appreciate what each person in this world has to offer, there would be less hatred within the world. This would also lead to less insecurities, jealousy and meanness on a personal level.
The images shown are a representation of that the theme I just outlined. That was never my goal in this assignment, but after capturing an image I never planned on, I started to take it to a deeper level. It is now my goal to delight in the exquisiteness of the world around me, wherever the location. Once I learn to appreciate the gifts in the world God (in my opinion) has provided me, I want to really emphasis on the beauty in myself and others, inside and out. I believe my life will be much better lived and relished with this new attitude and point of view.
These images were captured so beautifully also using the photography tips given by Eddie Soloway. As I mentioned earlier, a different perspective was viewed. I also used his advice to take the photo “where the eyes move.” He explains in his essay:
“People get confused about how to best compose a photograph. Simplify your thinking about composition by creating a beautiful way for the eye to move through the image. Graceful lines, retreating horizons, a swirling of color can all take the eye on a beautiful journey through a photograph.”
I used this advice to really capture a beautiful image as well. I captured it in a way that one that we may not have noticed the scenery if it had not been angled in a way to give the eye an interesting, beautiful perspective.
He also gives the assistance to utilize the background in a positive way. “Sometimes the background in a photograph is a much larger area than the subject, and if used well can create the atmosphere for the entire image. I have confidence that the picture I took uses the background to enhance the overall beauty of the image.
The last instruction by Eddie Soloway I really made use of was in the focus of the image. I used the perfect amount of focus (taught to me by my photographer roommate Amanda Scott) to enhance the loveliness of the simple scenery.
I’ve explained the theme of my last two pictures and the tips I used to make a simple item look gorgeous; it’s time to take a look. These are the two images I captured lastly, that tie to my version of beautiful.
Back to the definition of sublime: Of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth. b. Not to be excelled; supreme. 3. Inspiring awe; impressive. I think whether or not this photograph satisifies the definition is up to the beholder. The item in focus is not of high worth, excelled, supreme, inspiriting or impressive. It is a simple weed that most people don’t notice or get mad at. The idea of the beauty of this weed, however; is of worth. It is up to the opinion of the person we’re asking. This scene itself may not be worth taking a second look at. For me, it caused me to think about my life. It proves the fact that I look past beauty in my surroundings and my peers, teachers, and family every single day. That itself inspires me to be more observing in my life. I suppose the rest of the question is up to the reader.